Rebuilding Alliance

Rebuilding Alliance is dedicated to rebuilding war-torn communities and bringing the world together to make them safe. Our vision is a just and enduring peace in Israel and Palestine with equal value, opportunity, and security for all.
Apr 23, 2012

Really Big News!

Construction of our 3 homes in Al Aqaba
Construction of our 3 homes in Al Aqaba

Dear Friends

Last month, on March 14th 2012, the Al Aqaba Village Council issued building permits, a first in the West Bank's "Area C."  I am so proud to tell you that this month, on April 14th 2012, Rebuilding Alliance  and the Al Aqaba Cooperative Assembly for Housing Displaced signed a historic mortgage loan agreement to finance construction of the first three homes in our Rebuilding to Remain program. 

This may well be the first mortgage loan offered to Palestinian families in Area C, the 62% of the West Bank where the Israeli Army is not approving Palestinian town plans or issuing building permits.  Unlike any bank loan, our affordable mortgage loan suspends repayment if the home is demolished, until occupancy is restored.

Our goal, as stated in our loan agreement, is to "help families from Al Aqaba Village build affordable, expandable homes on the land they own, to affirm the right of the Village Council of Al Aqaba to issue building permits in accordance with the Al Aqaba Town Plan, and to keep these homes and this village standing.  97% of this Palestinian West Bank village is under demolition order by the Israeli Army. Together, Rebuilding Alliance  and Al Aqaba are asserting the villagers’ rights to build a home on the land they own and live there safely and securely, as good neighbors locally and throughout the region."

Will Al Aqaba's building permits and our mortgage loan be enough to keep this village standing?  It is a brave start.  It is not sufficient.  Just this morning, Israeli Army bulldozers destroyed Peace Street (for the 3rd time) and also a newly paved road.  Through the good work of the Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center, this time, they did not destroy any homes.

So what IS required to make these new permits and mortgage loans solid?  Policy change — All of Us,  engaged at the grassroots, pressing our elected officials to intervene for good.

Remember, your support of our Rebuilding to Remain program makes all this possible!  From now until Mother's Day, when you donate $100 or more on GlobalGiving.org, we'll send a Thank You Gift of Organic Olive Oil and Za'atar, fair trade from Palestine!

Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq and the signatories
Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq and the signatories
My hand on the Agreement as I sign
My hand on the Agreement as I sign
Me with agreements& My husband, signing as witness
Me with agreements& My husband, signing as witness
Apr 12, 2012

Al Samoa-Simya Playground now Completed!

Hi Friends,

I have exciting news. Construction of the Abir's Garden Playground in Al Samoa-Simya is finished!   Everyone here at Rebuilding Alliance in San Mateo, at Combatants for Peace in Palestine and Israel, at Playgrounds for Palestine, and in the village of Al Samoa Simya is thrilled, especially the children.

We have just spoken with Yosre Salamen, the Palestinian Combatants for Peace lead on this project. He is delighted to invite you to join in the Grand Opening ceremony for the playground on May 28th!  We will forward formal invitations from Combatants For Peace  soon.  

Please let us know, as a donor to this project, if you wish to attend. Also, please ask your Congressman along with their staff to travel there too.  This is an important opportunity for them to learn about Combatants for Peace and participate in a very tangible form of peace-making. 

Yosre also told us that Combatants For Peace will begin deliberating to select the next Abir’s Garden Playground project. More to come on that soon.

We are very happy that you were able to contribute to the funding of this playground and hope to have your support for many future Abir’s Garden Playgrounds. Without donations from individuals like you, this project would not happen. You make it all possible. Thank you.

Links:

Feb 6, 2012

Morgan's Video

Hey Everyone,

Hope all is well! I have a lot to tell you. First and foremost, Morgan Bach, our second teacher in the village as part of this program, has been able to get  her visa extended, so she will be staying in Al Aqaba Village for another three months. She recently wrote to us, saying that she is now working on the new village website and coordinating visits to the guest house. "Since I got here I've been assisting Haj Sami with correspondence, grant proposals, and English editing. I also blog, make videos, and send e-mails promoting the village."

Now the bad news:  new demolition orders were issued against another 17 structures in Al Aqaba.   Click here to watch Morgan Bach's remarkable video. Morgan, who lives on site in Al Aqaba. briefly interviewed the Israeli Civil Administrators who issued the new demolition orders then visited a family whose home was tagged.  I've attached a copy of the most recent UN OCHA fact sheet describing the scale of this policy.

On a brighter side, while we urge people throughout the U.S. to call Congress, we are pleased to report that the U.N. Secretary General's office is responding!   Staff of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Al Aqaba yesterday.  Tomorrow as part of a tour of the Palestinian Occupied Territories, a large group will arrive in Al Aqaba — there's a good chance this visit will this include the U.N. Secretary General himself!  Please follow the Secretary General’s website.

We will send you more updates soon. Thank you for supporting this project and the Village of Al Aqaba. Your support has made it possible to bring wonderful teachers like Morgan to Al Aqaba!   We're now recruiting more teachers, so I promise to send you the job description and job application in my next message.

As always, please write to me or call if you have questions or suggestions.

Sincerely,
Rudolfo San Miguel
GlobalGiving Coordinator
Rebuilding Alliance
1 650 325-4663

Links:


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